American NBA star Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa has been awarded $16 million as part of a $31 million jury verdict against Los Angeles County in relation to deputies and firefighters sharing photos of the star following the crash that killed him.
On Wednesday, Vanessa Bryant was given $16 million in a case pertaining to release of graphic images of the NBA star, his 13-year-old daughter, and other victims killed in a 2020 helicopter accident.
The nine jurors who reached a unanimous decision concurred with Vanessa Bryant and her attorneys that Los Angeles deputies and firefighters’ invasion of her privacy and infliction of emotional distress occurred when they took and shared images of the crash victims.
Bryant’s co-plaintiff, Chris Chester whose wife and children were also killed in the accident, received a separate $15 million settlement.
The majority of the people who shared the photos were members of the LA County sheriffs and fire departments.
Occasionally, this occurred in the context of fun, such as when some of the employees were playing video games or attending an awards banquet.
The spouses of some of the employees and, in one instance, a bartender at a bar where a sheriff’s officer was drinking, also saw the photographs of the collision.
After losing her husband and daughter, Vanessa Bryant testified during an 11-day trial with tears in her eyes that learning about the photos added to her still-unfolding grief and that she was still prone to panic attacks when she considered the possibility that they might still be alive.
The jury reached its verdict on Kobe Bryant Day, which is celebrated in Los Angeles city on 24 August. Number 24 represents the jersey number of the NBA star.